Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 3rd Grade :)

What Matters In Life

on November 1, 2013

Welcome Baby Daniel

Here is our sweet baby Daniel, born September 12th, weighing 7.8 pounds, and measuring 21 inches! We have spent the last month adjusting to life with three kids, so will you forgive me for taking some time off from blogging? Life is purposefully slow and sweet here; we don’t want this short window of tiny baby time to pass us by too quickly. There are so many things that sink in by baby #3–like knowing more than ever what really matters in life. I read something recently about children’s stages of attachment by the author of Hold Onto Your Kids (most awesome book!), that reminded me of my personal core value in this life as a parent: bonding with my kids–and why its so important. As I read Neufeld’s words, I felt grateful that I can see evidence of the stages of attachment unfolding in my children, but anxious that perhaps we have also fallen short in some ways………and of course, we have. Thank you for the grace of God. I am making sure to snuggle and spend lots of time with my baby; its a brand new beginning.

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Dr. Neufeld says, “I’ve been spending my life trying to put the pieces together of how attachment unfolds. And in fact, I had a wonderful opportunity of taking a whole year off just to be able to study all the attachment theories throughout the ages, actually, and see how it is that attachment is meant to happen. And it’s a beautiful story, really. I’ll try to tell it very quickly and very simply. In the first year of life, a child does attach through wanting to be with, to be in sight, in smell, in hearing, in touch. But by the second year of life a new way of attaching should open up in which the child wants to be liked, not only with, but liked. And this is the key to language acquisition, to stamping out form on their behavior; it’s a key to so many things. If that goes well, the third part by the third year, a child becomes preoccupied with belonging and becomes preoccupied with loyalty to be on the same side as which is a different way of closeness, to take the same side, to serve and obey. And that’s when the obedience instincts begin to be there. By the fourth year of life, you should see in a child a huge quest for significance – to matter, because he feels close now when he is dear to those that he’s attached to. Now if everything unfolds properly, the fifth year is incredible. The limbic system, the command center or the amygdala of the command center, the limbic system, the emotional brain pulse – all of it stops and the child gives his heart to whomever he is attached to. He falls in love. And he’s deeply emotionally attached to his kitten, to his grandma, to anything that is there. And this is amazing. And it’s so important because when the child develops at that level, that’s a stage for the rest of parenting. We cannot parent children whose hearts we do not have. We can’t parent even our grandchildren whose heart we do not have. Or our adult children. This is absolutely essential. So children need to fall deeply into attachment and we need to make it easy for them. The last stage is a very interesting stage. If it’s safe to attach, there’s no defendedness emotionally, then the child actually wants to share all that is within his heart. And so the 6-year-old is busy telling her secrets, and not to have any secrets that divide. This is the beginning of psychological intimacy, which should characterize our marriages and our best friendships. And so we’ve got all kinds of intimacies: with, like, belonging, mattering, our heart, emotional intimacy and then finally psychological intimacy. And this is a context in which children are meant to be raised. So the beginning – the infancy and toddler – is just the beginning of a wonderful unfolding and development of the capacity for a relationship.”

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How amazing! Keeping our children right with us in the early years is so important in order to hold their hearts close to us all through the years. I have seen Noah, my four year old, reach each of the first four stages Neufeld describes. We are now in the “look at me,” “I am so good at this,” “I am bigger,” “I am better,” significance stage. And I just thought he needed some lessons in humility. Little did I know his current way of mattering and attaching to mommy and daddy is through importance. My favorite part of what Dr. Neufeld had to say was, that a five year old gives his heart to whomever he is attached to, he falls in love. I have always loved 5 year olds because there is something magical and magnetic about them, and where they are at developmentally. My favorite grade to teach was kindergarten because the kids adore you. Now as a parent of a soon to be five year old, I am so looking forward to Noah turning 5!! To be loved is why we parent, right? I have been in love with Noah all his life, even before he was born, but very soon he will finally be in love with me too. What a year of fulfillment! I am going to make sure that I am the one right there when he is ready to fall in love. How exciting for this attached mama!!

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Oh, and on a side note, what is Noah looking forward to when he turns five (besides toys of course!)? The other day he said, “I can’t wait until I turn five.” I said, “Oh yah, how come?” He said, “Because I will get to have more jobs (ie chores).” (????) I was surprised to hear that because he talks about playtime as if its his sole purpose in life, and needs more of it. So I thought, sweet, we must have built up birthday chores like they are gifts or something. We told the kids that they get new responsibilities (jobs) when they have a birthday, and that along with the new responsibilities of growing up, come special new freedoms too. Noah told me that one new job he would like to have when he turns five is to help me cook more. Hey, sounds good to me. 🙂

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What Matters to Us

Dean and I recently drafted up some Core Family Values, an assignment from our Kingdom Families small group that we meet with from church. With a new addition to our growing family, it was a great time to sit down and discuss what matters to our family, how we will live it out, and which scriptures will breath life into it all. Some things we wrote down are more statements of faith and things we are aiming for, rather than things we are doing perfectly all the time. Now we have something to turn to in hard times that will help refocus us. Anyway, it was a valuable, purposeful, and defining experience for us. Perhaps its a good time for your family to write up your own Core Family Values?

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Cravalho Family Core Values

1.Beauty

……….For beauty and excellence to be in whatever we do, and show forth God’s glory.

One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.       Psalms 27:4

  • Family is sacred and beautiful. God’s glory shall dwell in our home and family. Thus, we protect our family life, live undivided and un-fragmented, and prioritize spending time together. We do homeschool together, family devotions together, and worship together in church. We want to learn, worship, pray, work, reach out, grow, cry, go through struggles, and make memories together. We won’t departmentalize learning, home-life, friends, work, and God–with each of us going in separate directions all the time as we see happening in most modern families.

2. Holiness

……….To dwell in His presence, be saturated and encompassed by God.

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.Deuteronomy 5:12

  • We live everyday like its the Sabbath, putting as much energy into growing in Godliness, as if everyday is a Sunday
  • We need not separate holy and secular, for everyday moments are holy if perceived as such. All can be holy ground. The kitchen sink can be a sanctuary.
  • We have regular Bible Times because holiness is only possible by shedding worldly mindsets through the daily renewing of our minds

3. Discipleship

………..Comfort, teach, guide, model, nurture–DISCIPLE–our children for the purpose of aiming them to God’s glory and the service of their generation.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

  • We train up our children through side by side discipleship. The behavior, habits, character, and destiny we envision for our children can best be accomplished through intimate discipleship, and homeschool presents the perfect opportunity for true discipleship.

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.  Proverbs 23:13-14

  • We discipline with both spankings and loving words of reproof so that our children do not bring shame to us, but rather bring delight to our souls.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.  Deuteronomy 5:16

  • Our children honor us as compass points in their lives, as parents able to orient them in what direction to take and how to get there. They listen to us, rather than their peers or media, concerning all matters– how to act, what to say, what to do, how to look, etc.

These words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7

  • We live on a single income so that we can have a stay at home parent available to teach our children since discipleship as described in Duet. 6:6-7 is an all day long comission.
  • We teach our children by including them in worship. We follow the Biblical model of family worship where worship primarily: was led by the father, held in the home, and included all generations of life.
  • By cultivating a close relationship with our children, we open their hearts to God. Side by side discipleship allows for an attached relationship. Children give their hearts, loyalty, and confidence to whomever they are attached to. Therefore, a child who is well attached to his parents, is a child that is easy to parent, and also easy to disciple. We can not disciple or parent children whose hearts we do not have.

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And yes, we are still managing to do school and other fun stuff with a new baby in the family! Take a look!

Playin’ in the Rain One Day

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Daddy’s Sweet Potato Science Project

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Daddy Helps Me with Word Building

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Daddy Helps Me with my “I am Special” Book

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Tayler’s Mommy Helps at School

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Noah’s “Mud, Mud, Blood” Pattern

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Noah’s Independent Math Time Creation (Attribute Blocks)

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Handwriting

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Noah Exclaimed, “I did it as good as Tayler!”

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Noah’s Punishment for Biting a Word Tile

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Faith’s Time Outs Are Time Ins with God

We have always put Faith in her crib for timeouts because she gets so enraged when she is in trouble that she needs a quiet, safe place to calm down in. However, lately I have been letting her sit in her rocking chair with a recorded prayer book. She is much calmer with this type of punishment! And while she is hearing Grandma and Grandpa pray all kind of calming prayers from her Really Wooly Bedtime Prayers book, her heart is being ministered to and softened by God’s Word. Perfect for a little one who can’t read yet!

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Our “I am Special” Books

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Tayler Working on Her I am Special Book

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All of Tayler’s Pages

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All of Noah’s Pages

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All of Faith’s Pages

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The Pumpkin Patch

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Lima Bean Pots!

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The Hay Maze

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Our Homegrown Giant Pumpkin

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A Neighbor’s Giant Pumpkin

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     Tayler Made Faith a Pretty Birthday Cake in the Sandbox

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Noah Painting Faith’s Birthday Present (a dollhouse)

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Happy 3rd Birthday Faithy!!

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Too Cute!

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One response to “What Matters In Life

  1. Tara Hannon says:

    aww! Baby Faith look so old!! and pretty! Stay little, friend. (i hope that’s gluten-free! lol)

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